There were Jews who became Catholics during Inquisitional periods, there were Jews who remained Jews but not without tremendous sacrifice and there were Jews who became a part of the Protestant religious movements that made “Pilgrimages” to Protestant countries such as Prussia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, England and of course England’s thirteen colonies. Serious genealogists should question, were my Huguenot (Protestant) ancestors originally Jews who joined with the Huguenots because they had a common enemy (Catholics)? Jewish Huguenot Pilgrims (Pilgrim means foreigner, or wanderer, especially one who embarks upon a long weary journey to a shrine) who hid behind the veil of Protestant Christianity, were a stepping-stone away from Judaism, a religion of which many, probably most did not return. Many came from Huguenot and Jewish communities that backed up against each other in the north of France with concentrations of Huguenots in the south and west of France as well, near Spain where Jews would have fled the Inquisition. It’s an interesting question, what drove my ancestors from Catholic Europe to American Colonies and other Protestant countries?
Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here:
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